Monday, February 05, 2007

Texas Governor orders Gardasil for all girls entering 6th grade.

Anti-cancer vaccine mandatory?

First, let's call this as it is. The vaccine is an anti HPV (Human pappilloma virus) vaccine. Some forms of HPV have been implicated in causing cervical cancer. But not all forms of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. About 70% of cancers are felt to be linked to HPV.

In the news lately are articles about how Texas Governor Rick Perry has bypassed the normal route, through Legislature, and ordered that all girls must receive Gardasil before entering the 6Th grade.

This is causing an uproar, mainly by religious groups that are afraid this will give the "green light" to girls considering sexual activity. Personally, I think that's absurd, but sure, I can see a few kids taking it that way.

From MS-NBC:

Required STD shots worry some parents
Texas governor orders cervical cancer vaccine for schoolgirls

AUSTIN, Texas - Some conservatives and parents’ rights groups worry that requiring girls to get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer would condone premarital sex and interfere with the way they raise their children.

By using an executive order that bypassed the Legislature, Republican Gov. Rick Perry — himself a conservative — on Friday avoided such opposition, making Texas the first state to mandate that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the virus.

Beginning in September 2008, girls entering the sixth grade will have to receive Gardasil, Merck & Co.’s new vaccine against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Now, this article is about parents being afraid that their children will be "encouraged" to engage in sexual relations, but I have a different problem with this.
The federal government approved Gardasil in June, and a government advisory panel has recommended that all girls get the shots at 11 and 12, before they are likely to be sexually active.

Merck could generate billions in sales if Gardasil — at $360 for the three-shot regimen — were made mandatory across the country. Most insurance companies now cover the vaccine, which has been shown to have no serious side effects.
Yes, that's right, it's been less than a year since this was approved, so that means we have no long-term data available, except for the data from the studies done by the drug company. And yet, we want to require this for all children past the age of 11.

No serious side effects? This is what bothers me. according to
In the clinical studies, subjects were evaluated for new medical conditions that occurred over the course of up to 4 years of follow up. The number of subjects who received both GARDASIL and placebo and developed a new medical condition potentially indicative of a systemic immune disorder is shown in Table 10.

Table 10
Summary of Subjects Who Reported an Incident Condition Potentially Indicative of Systemic Autoimmune Disorder After Enrollment in Clinical Trials of GARDASIL

Potential Autoimmune Disorder
(N = 11,813)
(N = 9701)
Specific Terms
3 (0.025%)
1 (0.010%)
Juvenile arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Other Terms
6 (0.051%)
2 (0.021%)
Reactive Arthritis
N = Number of subjects enrolled

So, there really isn't a way of knowing if these children would have developed these conditions anyway, but maybe they were made more susceptible because of the vaccine? And maybe it's protective against those conditions.

I have a daughter, age 24. I have recommended that she not take the vaccine at this point. If, in a few years it proves safe, I might recommend it. But at this point, no I'd say hold off.

If I had a child that would be affected by this ruling I would be boiling mad, and maybe even risk legal action.

I have no problem immunising against childhood diseases, although I suspect today's vaccines cause more problems than anyone is willing to admit. Vaccines against influenza, measles, mumps, etc are a good thing because these diseases can be prevented or minimised. And that means fewer will die as a result of them. However, how many children die as a result of being vaccinated? And how many more are permanently damaged? Is the cost worth the benefit?

I did, and would again, allow my children to be immunised according to the recommendations for children in Massachusetts. They didn't get flu vaccines, but they were pretty low risk for getting complications (no asthma, etc). When the chicken pox vaccine was first approved, we were given a reasonable period of time to have a voluntary immunisation. Some (most?) states still don't require it.

But here we have a vaccine that hasn't been approved for even a year, and has followup for only 4 years, and we are making it mandatory?

So....what is going on here?

The New Jersey-based drug company is bankrolling efforts to pass state laws across the country mandating Gardasil for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.

Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff. His current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.

The governor also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign.

A top official from Merck’s vaccine division sits on Women in Government’s business council, and many of the bills around the country have been introduced by members of Women in Government.

Merck spokeswoman Janet Skidmore would not say how much the company is spending on lobbyists or how much it has donated to Women in Government. Susan Crosby, the group’s president, also declined to specify how much the drug company gave.

Oh!!!! Money is involved! Oh my! I'm shocked!

Greedy isn't he?


Suzique said...

I wondered about this too. How many times in recent years have new drugs been rushed to market then found to have unforeseen serious consequences? Can you say Phen-fen? Vioxx? I have arthritis and it runs in my family; I sure don't want my child to get it from an unproven vaccine. I always liked Rick Perry but this seems really out of left field.

Cindy said...

Even 10 yrs ago I wouldn't be as skeptical as I am today. Let them give it to kids (and adults) who want it (or who's parents want it), but don't make it mandatory!!!

I wonder what the gov will do if it turns out that this vaccine isn't as wonderful as everyone claims???? Guaranteed, no lawsuit payouts will come out of HIS pocket!

Anonymous said...

The scientist who invented this vaccine won the Australian of the year award last year. I still don't think any vaccine should be mandatory & hey don't men spread genital warts as well?? so how come all boys aren't getting this vaccine too?? I am in the camp that thinks the whole vaccine thing is bollocks anyway & better nutrition & cleanliness standards are more to blame for the drop in infectious diseases not vaccinations. Still if you insist on vaccinating your kids just remember that all of us have been infected at one time or another with dodgey vaccinations & are yet to reap the non-benefits of that. Autism is on the rise & linked to the triple antigen vaccine, arthritis is also on the rise & linked to most vaccine ingredients as are cancers etc. so with the double whammy of diet & toxins in vaccines plus the allowing of dangerous things getting into our blood stream what are we sowing for the future? Vaccine immunisation has also been linked to a form of biological terrorism where diseases are introduced via the "injection" to control large popualtions. Aids & various other flu like things like sars & bird flu are these just population control measures? or disease control gone wrong? Most scientists will say homyopathy doesn't work but vaccines which work on the same principles do!! go figure.

Cindy said...

Anonymous....soem good points.

Not only in vaccinating, but all areas of the healthcare industry. I'm starting to seriously question if they are really trying to help or not.

Just look at the way we "manage" diabetes. Despite the fact that diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate metabolism, they continue to prescribe high carb low fat diets. Even tho fat doesn't use insulin, but carbs do.

Heart disease is another area. Widely used statins show very little benefit, yet they are being prescribed to millions. Despite the high incidence of adverse reactions, this data is being minimised and ignored.

Pushing vaccines is just another area where millions are being exposed to potentially damaging and sometimes fatal side effects, in the hope that a few will be saved.

Sherrie said...

I saw this, you know what though? I betcha before you know it they will be giving it to babies like they do hep B.

I don't like vaccines. When I had my son a decade ago I had him all done and he was fine but my daughter (22 months) I feel is different. She hasn't had any since her 4 months ones. To me something was different, made me very uneasy even though I knew nothing bad about vaccines. When she was born they asked to give her a hep B shot, you know what I said, "I have no idea but if you think its best then okay". I regret that!
Like shes at risk of hep B!!!

Anyway each times she was done her reactions seemed worse. Her thighs on her last lot was so swollem, badly bruised and sore for weeks. I was so worried about what the next one at 6 months would do to her then 12 months and so on. So I read up on it, theres a lot of bad stuff about them. Sure my son seemed to handle it all okay but shes different and who knows maybe something will come up later for my son.

Cindy said...

Sherrie!! I had no idea they were giving Hep B to babies!!! That is absurd!!

I also allowed mine to be vaccinated without thinking twice about it (mine are now 22 & 24), but today I would think differently.

They give so many more vaccinations now than they ever did....and they give them in combinations....and are they as "good" as they were in the past? More chemicals, less quality control makes me nervous. I hear a lot more moms today talking about reactions than I ever did when my 2 were little....and back then I knew so many MORE parents of babies and little ones. Are the reactions more frequent? Sure does seem so to me!

Gardasil may just be the best thing since the polio vaccine.....or it may be as bad as the lyme vaccine. And until they figure out which it is, they have no buisiness mandating children receive it!